Tuesday, July 28, 2009

REDtone Mobile launch

LAST Friday, REDtone became the country's third mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), after Merchantrade and XOX, to launch its mobile services.

Unlike its rivals, which offer the services to the end-consumers, REDtone's mobile services is only available for companies/ businesses, such as the small and medium-sized enterprises and SoHo.

Below are some of the key takeaways from the launch:
1. Minimum commitment usage of RM38/ month.
2. Calls among REDtone mobile network is 23 sen a minute. (includes calls from REDtone number to Celcom, Merchantrade, XOX numbers) Text message cost 10 sen each.
3. Calls to non-Celcom network cost 30 sen a minute. Text message cost 20 sen each.
4. Tri-lingual speeches is not recommended. Imagine listening to a speech, the same speech, same content, in three languages back to back. It just takes too much time.
5. Did not reveal targets.

Anyway, another highlight that i forgot to mention is the way the company plans to "sell" its mobile services. REDtone is offering its customers airtime/ incentives each time they successfully refer one new customers to take up the mobile services. This means, if a REDtone mobile user managed to get his business partner to sign-up for the services, he/she is entitled up to 20 per cent of airtime/ rebates -- RM100 phone bill MAY be reduced to RM80. (don't have the actual pricing mechanism with me)

So, in other words, instead of depending on distributors or dealers, the mobile users will be its "sales force" as well.

Sounds all rosy. But here are a few questions:
1. Why should i pay RM38 a month, when my calls cost 23 sen a minute, when what other telcos are offering much much lower? The 20 sen SMS for off-net users is just too pricey.

2. So, would a businessman, one who is aware of where each dollar and cents goes, sign up for such packages? Ideally, as a businessman, you want a mobile service that helps you save cost, that helps u save phone bill... this mobile service doesn't blend in well. Yeah, one may argue that REDtone mobile users can get "rebates" in the form of air-time, and maybe cash. As a business, as a company, do you want to spend most of your free time recruiting REDtone mobile users, or you want to spend your time getting new businesses, new sales lead for your own company?

Friday, July 24, 2009

How DiGi performed in Q2?

DiGi.Com Bhd, the country's third largest mobile operator, recorded a 21 per cent decline in its second quarter net profit to RM235 million. However, revenue gain marginally by 1 per cent during the quarter.

Its revenue has declined for the second consecutive quarters -- fell by 1.13 per cent in Q1 (against Q408), and fell by 1.06 per cent in Q2 (against Q109). In contrast, Celcom has recorded over 10 quarters of consecutive growth.

Besides those key numbers that were highlighted above, DiGi also revealed that mobile data revenue has declined on a Q-on-Q basis, mainly due to the decline in SMS revenue.

SMS Revenue declined by RM10 million, or 5.9 per cent, to RM157 million, while non-SMS revenue fell by RM3 million, or 3.7 per cent, in the second quarter. (comparing against Q109)

Few things that they did not highlight in the presentation slides:

1. How much affected are their IDD revenue? It will not be surprising to see DiGi, which is believed to have the biggest chunk of the foreign workers subscriber share, to get hit in this area.

2. Mobile broadband -- how many users now?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Maxis should relist, says PM

AFTER returning from the Middle East, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that Maxis Communications Bhd, which was privatised just over two years ago, should be relisted in the local stock exchange.

Apparently, PM has already conveyed the message to Maxis management.

If it really materialised, it will certainly make the local bourse, Bursa Malaysia, more attractive for investors. Also, for telecommunications junkies like us, we will be able to get access to Maxis's information such as quarterly revenue, subscriber growth and ARPU.

Below is the full article from Bloomberg:

By Manirajan Ramasamy and Angus Whitley

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Maxis Communications Bhd., the Malaysian mobile-phone company bought out by T. Ananda Krishnan in 2007, should re-list in Kuala Lumpur to attract investors tothe exchange, Prime Minister Najib Razak said. Maxis, 25 percent-owned by Saudi Telecom Co., is assessing the proposal, Najib told reporters in Putrajaya, outside KualaLumpur, after returning from the Middle East this week.

“It has been conveyed to the management and they areconsidering it very seriously,” said Najib, when asked aboutinvestments stemming from his trip. “Hopefully, it will happenfairly soon.”

Ananda’s listed Malaysian assets, pay-television providerAstro All Asia Networks Plc and satellite operator Measat GlobalBhd., have surged since June on speculation Maxis may beinjected into one of the companies in order to return to thelocal market.

Maxis Chief Executive Officer Sandip Das wasn’t availableto comment, according to his secretary in Kuala Lumpur, and hedidn’t reply to an e-mail seeking a response to Najib’sstatement. A Maxis spokeswoman was unable to comment immediately.

According to speculation that surfaced in June, billionaireAnanda, ranked by Forbes as Malaysia’s second-richest person,may be seeking to fold Maxis into Astro or Measat to tap arising stock market and create a telecommunications company thatsells wireless, television and satellite services.

Maxis first sold shares in Malaysia in 2002. Before the company was taken private in June 2007, it was valued at about40 billion ringgit ($11 billion) on the Malaysian stock exchange.

On July 20, Astro issued a statement confirming it wasreviewing options to restructure, although Chief ExecutiveOfficer Ralph Marshall later told reporters a merger with Maxiswas not being considered.


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